• Neptune Frost

    Neptune Frost

    ★★★★

    When life in the US feels like one long doomscroll, it figures that a film made in Rwanda would offer an optimistic counterpoint. (The costumes and set design take images that white directors typically use to signify apocalyptic collage, like jewelry glued to faces and wires and metal dangling from homes, as an African approach to technology.) And it's the most original musical in years.

    More coming in my Gay City News article on the NYFF.

  • The Card Counter

    The Card Counter

    ★★★½

    THE CARD COUNTER flirts with self-parody: take Oscar Isaac's voice-over and Robert Levon Been's Bono-cum-Jeff Buckley soundtrack. I was less impressed with FIRST REFORMED than most, and found it dismaying that Paul Schrader could only approach a subject as vital as climate change through a host of references to his own films and those of other directors. I think I called it "DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST cosplay" at the time - inadequate for addressing real world problems. Well, Schrader…

  • Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

    Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

    ★★★

    Obligatory name-drop: I worked alongside director Angela Robinson at a video store in the '90s, but until now I have never seen any of her films.

    PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN uses the trappings of a period biopic to smuggle in a celebration of polyamory and kink. (A DANGEROUS METHOD does something similar.) At times, it feels too bland or on-the-nose (especially Luke Evans' WONDER WOMAN creator's interrogation by the censorious Connie Britton), but its ending is quite touching and Rebecca Hall shines throughout.

  • The Discarnates

    The Discarnates

    ★★★★

    I recorded my intro to this film for a future Cinephobe.tv broadcast. On a second viewing, it's even more moving. It portrays the seduction of nostalgia and living in the past as dangerous as heroin, but it wouldn't connect so hard if it didn't also seem seduced by nostalgia itself. When I have an air date, I will post it here!

  • earthearthearth

    earthearthearth

    ★★★½

    The grade would probably go up by a full star had I watched this in a movie theater with the soundtrack cranked up rather than my laptop.

  • The Capacity For Adequate Anger

    The Capacity For Adequate Anger

    ★★★★

    Vika Kirchenbauer is a trans woman from a working-class background who has attained some success in the art world. THE CAPACITY FOR ADEQUATE ANGER muses on the ramifications of her success. It works from a bank of still images reflecting her childhood; the only motion comes from animated TV clips. (These images look slightly faded; her selection made me think of a younger Lewis Klahr.) The film suggests the importance of mass media representation for young LGBTQ people, but also…

  • Titane

    Titane

    ★★½

    “Titane” is determined to make David Cronenberg’s “Crash,” its biggest inspiration, look tame. Its vision is queer in a way that embraces that term’s ambiguous possibilities. Gender is fluid, barriers between human and machines have broken down. Its body-horror should be a logical extension of director Julia Ducournau’s short “Junior” and first feature “Raw.” Those films used images of violence and the body’s mutability to convey the changes experienced by teenage girls and young women as they grow up.

    By…

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★½

    Joyfully bloodthirsty and bugfuck, especially in the last hour. Transcends '80s nostalgia to actually live up to the morgue scene in RE-ANIMATOR. Subtext exists, but it's ambiguous: you could read the prison scene several different ways.

  • Wife of a Spy

    Wife of a Spy

    ★★★

    I discussed this film, as well as MOGUL MOWGLI and CANDYMAN, on Cinefile.Info's podcast with critics Ben Sachs and John Dickson. You can listen to it here: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/kiyoshi-kurosawa-new-release-roundtable-the-reversal/id1557125005?i=1000535664334

    WIFE OF A SPY hints that it will be a grand, old-fashioned entertainment, but the actual film is dour and muted. Using newly available 8K digital cameras, Kurosawa chose to make his first period piece. WIFE OF A SPY resurrects World War II-era Japan through images, its own and those made by…

  • Junior

    Junior

    ★★★½

    Braces have never looked this frightening!

  • The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

    The Most Beautiful Boy in the World

    ★★½

    “The Most Beautiful Boy in the World” works overtime to convince the spectator that its subject, former child actor Bjorn Andresen, is damaged goods. Cast at 15 to play Tadzio in gay director Luchino Visconti’s 1971 film “Death in Venice,” his life was changed forever by the experience. It was not for the better. But Swedish directors Kristina Lindstrom and Kristian Petri’s documentary is so manipulative that one wonders about the gaps and omissions in its presentation of Andresen’s life…

  • Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts

    Terrorism Considered as One of the Fine Arts

    ★★★★

    As dense and full of quotations as late Godard (a subject in the dialogue, and referred to onscreen as "Jean Lucifer Godard"), even more difficult to interpret. Peter Whitehead gave up filmmaking for falconry after 1969, and while he returned to it a few times beyond that point, TERRORISM CONSIDERED... was his first film in 14 years. His first feature was a documentary about the Rolling Stones, for whom he directed 6 music videos around 1967, and he also made…